How to Play Latin Grooves in the Style of Carlos Santana – Latin Rhythm Guitar Lesson


Hey, how’s it going this is Jon McLennan with Guitar Control, what we’re looking today is a Mambo Montuno, which you may recognize from a tune that Carlos Santana did, called “Oye Como Va”. It’s actually written by Tito Puente, but this is the basic rhythmic structure of the montuno, which is sort of the vamp used in that song.

How to Play Latin Grooves in the Style of Carlos Santana - Latin Rhythm Guitar Lesson

So we’re going to start on an A minor 7, and I’m on the 5th fret, 5th fret, 5th fret, 5th fret, all lined up like that. I’m going to play on the 1st two beats like this… And then I’m going to play on the — and of three, let that ring until the and of four, when I’m going to switch to a D9 shape, which is 5, 4, 5, 5. You can either do one finger like this on each fret or you can just bar it, which sometimes is nice when you come from the A minor 7. Again, this is just like a Jazz chord progression, 2, 5, A minor, D. You come in on the and of four, and one and, two and, three and, four and. You play on the and of two and then the and of three.

Then you start over. So here’s the whole pattern slowly. I’m playing all the notes at the same time. If you’re using a pick you can play… Which is another option as well. But the main thing is the rhythm. Listen to “Oye Como Va” and check out those chords.

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